Unforeseeable market conditions
Despite casinos in Louisiana being given the green light to reopen from Monday, the DiamondJacks Casino & Hotel in Bossier City will not be reopening.
It was on Friday that DiamondJacks announced it would remain permanently closed as a result of “business circumstances” resulting from the pandemic. All of the casinos in the state were closed for about two months following an emergency order issued by Governor John Bel Edwards.
In a statement, Diana Thornton, vice president of finance at DiamondJacks, spoke about coming to this difficult decision to close the riverboat casino. Speaking about the casino’s time in business, she said:
We have worked diligently to be a valued member of the Shreveport-Bossier City business community.”
Impact of the pandemic on casinos
There is no indication as to how many employees will be out of work as a result of this decision. However, each worker has been notified and can now file for unemployment benefits.
While many states are now starting to allow casinos to reopen while meeting certain safety standards, some of these casinos will not be able to open again due to the damage caused during the pandemic. Nevada’s Lakeside Inn announced last month that it would not be reopening after the state’s emergency order was eased.
Louisiana’s casino reopening protocols
Casinos reopening in Louisiana as part of its phase one recovery plan will only be able to have 25% occupancy for some time. Only half of the table game and slot machine seats will be open, and all patrons must adhere to social distancing standards.
only 55 of the nation’s 989 commercial and tribal casinos are now open
The Louisiana Gaming Control Board (LGCB) must approve each casino before it can reopen. As per the American Gaming Association (AGA) figures released on Sunday, only 55 of the nation’s 989 commercial and tribal casinos are now open.
Struggling for some time
DiamondJacks was one of six different riverboat casinos operating in the Shreveport-Bossier City area. It was significantly smaller than other facilities in terms of visitor numbers and revenue figures.
Of the 14 riverboat casinos operating in Louisiana, DiamondJacks was second-lowest in terms of gross revenue and third-lowest in terms of visitor numbers.
A study conducted last year by the Spectrum Gaming Group made a recommendation to state authorities that DiamondJacks should be moved to another area. This was due to increasing competition from tribal casinos in Oklahoma and the northeast corner of the state and the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain both not having much of a gaming presence.